Getting the job you want isn’t just targeting and execution. It includes avoiding losing strategies as well. As usual, some of the worst strategies are the most logical. Who doesn’t need new contacts? People who haven’t fully used the ones they already have. Here are big losers to avoid.
1. Don’t take a vacation in the middle of a job hunt. Is this too obvious? Then why do more than half the job hunters I see do it? Aunt Rose calls and says you’re welcome to visit in Miami for a few weeks. Don’t go. It’s called lost momentum. You think you’ll work on your job hunt while you’re relaxing. You won’t. Take a rain check. You can visit Aunt Rose after you’ve signed the offer letter. Keep making 30 calls a day, working your list of potential employers, and following up on jobs you’ve applied for. It is the only way — which is why people hate it.
2. Don’t do anything between 9 and 5 but job hunt. That means no trips to the gym, cleaning closets or the garage, or getting together with pals at 3 p.m. for drinks!? I had a client who gathered other job hunters for long cocktail hours to “keep everybody motivated!” These people couldn’t see to drive home, much less focus on job hunting. Tip: Employed people can’t possibly be at the bar before 5:30 – 7:00. Who else do you need to meet?
3. No sideshows, please. There is a special tier in hell for people who say to a desperate (that’s everyone) job hunter, “I think you’d be great at …..” Someone whose focus is less than absolute hears the siren call and decides that, hey, he might really be great as an X. His job hunt has just been retarded by as much as six weeks to six months! He’s now got a righteous (he thinks) distraction. He doesn’t. Tip: Recognize your own vulnerability and don’t talk to people who weaken, rather than reinforce, your commitment to finding a job in your field. PS: If you were truly destined to be an X it would have been a recurring them in your life/career.
4. No radical redos. If you’ve been job hunting for three months and have made contacts with several hundred people those contacts think they have an understanding of who you are and what you do. If you suddenly change your image, from prep to country, you’re going to confuse people. They will be reluctant to help the new you because they won’t be able to predict the you after this one. The exception: If you have a nip and tuck that makes you look more like you, that’s fine.
5. Don’t have peaks and valleys. You have to work the job hunt as you would a job, not manically and then nothing for weeks. Plodders make the most successful job hunters because their relentlessness keeps their egos burnished and impresses others. Who would you rather help: the job hunter you hear from monthly or the one who is incomunicato for months at a time? At the very least, if you help the former get a job, you won’t hear from him for some time!
Finally, it’s all about following the game plan of contacts, follow-up, more contacts and more follow-up. Be wary of inventing a new technique unless you want to be still looking six months from now
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